Thursday, May 29, 2008

My other blog

I have a new blog. This one is a poetry blog called Earth Poetry.

Even if you're not into poetry, I'd love it if you'd visit today. I put a new poem of my own on it, and I'd love it if people left comments. Click here to see my poem, called 'Psychopomp'.

I am still having a rather hard time living with the uncertainty of metastatic breast cancer. Yesterday, however, I got to spend some time with my old friend Pat J. (No, she's not old--she's younger than I am :-) ) I hope she had as good a time as I did, at Harkness Beach in Waterford (Connecticut). I must say she was much more enthusiastic than John about my penchant for collecting nearly invisible shells!

It's fascinating to talk over such crusty old times--I mean, we're talking almost 55 years ago here! It has the feeling of working muscles you haven't used in a long time, which to me feels really good. Pat and I share a history that I don't really share with anyone else except maybe my cousin Rachel, but that's a whole different ball of wax, having to do with the Jehovah's Witnesses (dysfunction, anyone?) and the sort of strange relationship our mothers had as sisters. Anyway, after visiting the beach Pat and I went up to tour the gardens around the old estate. I don't think I'd seen them in the spring, just in their full bloom in summer. Much of the garden area has plantings from many decades ago, so it's a different fashion than modern gardens. So that was fun.

Anyway, I lived in the moment yesterday, and it was a good day!

With metta,

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The one that got away

Missed a great photo op yesterday :-(

John and I went to Paul's and Sandy's, a local greenhouse, to pick up (we hoped) an apple tree for his birthday. Of course, we had to wander and look at all the plants. (We ended up coming home with about half a dozen things, including 3-packs of garden veggies to plant, but no tree.)

When we got to the herb section, we found a large black cat sitting across a couple of plants. We had already spent a few minutes fussing over his tortie pal, so we had to spend a little time with him.

After we finished petting and cooing at him for a while, I wondered out loud to John what plant he was squishing. You've probably guessed it--it was catnip. If I'd brought my camera, I would have had the perfect shot of him surrounded by plants with large "CATNIP" signs.

That's why photographers should always carry their cameras!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Garden Song

The mayflies are swarming, we've had both sun and rain today, and I want to give you one of my favorite songs. It's blurry, but it's really David Mallett.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

You CAN teach an old b........

Something very exciting happened to me this weekend.

I learned how to use the TV remote.

No, I'm not a Luddite. I just don't care much for TV. I went well over a decade watching virtually no television at all (unless I was stuck at one of those places where you can't avoid it). It just got stupider and stupider until it seemed like a terrible bludgeoning of valuable time ("As if you could kill time without wasting eternity", as Henry David Thoreau put it) and I simply stopped watching it.

Mostly, I think it's even worse now. Those things they call "reality shows", for instance, as if most people actually act like that. And we should not be embarrassed for them.

With my current fatigue, however, I'm finally giving myself permission to do some stupid things to get through the hours when I'm too tired and spacy to even read. One is to watch some TV. At first I developed a fondness for the basketball games of my alma mater, the University of Connecticut. Then I started watching Animal Planet because I was so disgusted with Homo sapiens (that guy who established Chimp Eden is a mensch!). Now--and I would have bet my life twenty years ago that this would never happen--I've become a Red Sox fan (go, Manny! All right, big Papi!), even though baseball games are about as speedy as labor. I do enjoy watching the spitting habits of these stars (click here to read a post from my old blog on that subject) but I've also actually become interested in the game itself. I'll even concede that it's not just the sport of rednecks with beer guts--it actually seems to take some athletic ability.

Next thing you know I'll be watching the New England Patriots.

But about the remote thing: as I said, I'm not a Luddite. I'm at least as good at computer stuff as the average person, and I do own a cell phone. I just stubbornly refused to learn how to use the TV remote, for fear it would turn me into a couch potato. I did do an awful lot of sitting today (all those nature shows, after all), but I'm not an addict yet.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tanka for Mother's Day

A moment of grace
5:00 a.m. on Mother's Day.
It's May; flowers will bloom.
A blessing to all mothers
And all long-suffering children.

It's 5 a.m. on Mother's Day, and I can't sleep. Mother's Day has long been one of my least favorite days of the year, a day when I am tortured by all kinds of feelings, not logical, but a mix of guilt and blame and fear.

I truly don't know how I thought I could be a good mother, given my background. I tried, to the point of almost not surviving, yet didn't do nearly enough to protect and nurture my children. I did not feel whole, and passed that sense of deficiency, the sense of not being good enough, along to my children.

I can still love them and try to help, but I can't (won't, I guess) put my life on the line. With the cancer, I am so tired and stressed, I can hardly get through a "normal" week.

Yet each day is beautiful. The flowers do bloom, as we know they will, while waiting impatiently (and with an odd uncertainty) each winter. In our distant past, that uncertainty was so deep that we felt we had to placate the gods to ensure each season and our concomitant survival. We are starting to realize again that we must do that, for help in healing our sad and suffering Mother Earth.

Let Lady Gaia, Mother Earth, and Wakantonka, Father Sky, be with us as we take this new journey. Let us regain a sense of our wholeness with the Earth and her Universe. Let all who come with light and with love work together to preserve the beauty and wholeness of the earth. By all that is above, by all that that is below, by all that is within, so may it be.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sand and water...

Spring is here, and that can mean only one thing: most of the searches that lead people to my blog are on the phrase "ripeness is all"--students, no doubt, trying to finish up that final paper or take-home exam.

There was a time when I felt I was on the path to that ripeness--that living fully in my own skin that defines me as the best I can be. Then suddenly this winter, almost three full years past my (eventually) terminal Stage IV breast cancer diagnosis, I became depressed and lost my sense that there's any meaning to this life, this world.

I'm still struggling.

I awaited the return of life in spring to get back some of the serenity I'd had for so long, the peace that came from the certainty that life is a circle, and I will go on in some way as an eternal part of that circle. While I'm not as depressed as I was this past winter, my equanimity has not returned.

I think part of the reason is that I've lost faith that the planet will survive what homo sapiens has done to it. While this planet started out as sand and water, we have turned it into a mass grave for thousands of species, all because of our lust for power, ease, and consumable goods. The superior species, huh?

Well, this is hardly an uplifting post, but it is an honest one. If you have any words of wisdom for me, please feel free to comment.